Innovation Expo

Enterprise and Innovation

  • Program Type

Taking innovations further, realizing breakthroughs, and thus contributing to the social challenges we are facing in our country and in the world. That is the ambition of the Innovation Expo. An event that takes place every two years to solve major social challenges in the fields of the circular economy, energy, water, mobility, the built-up environment, health, and food, as well as the required enabling technologies.

Innovation Expo 2018

The IE2018 is a sample sheet of the most recent and high-profile developments that the Netherlands has to offer. It will present Dutch solutions to the major social challenges in the fields of the circular economy, energy, water, mobility, the built-up environment, health, and food, as well as the required enabling technologies.

The focus of this day will be on new meetings and setting down concrete deals. All the participants, from the Netherlands and abroad, will be working together this day on expediting innovations. With more than 5000 participants, 200 exhibitors, inspiring keynote presentations, and more than 100 sessions, the Innovation Expo 2018 offers you a comprehensive and exciting program.

Five lessons about innovation from the Innovation Expo

Inspire Governments

It goes without saying that inspiration is essential for innovators to bring their ideas to life. But if we want to get innovations off the ground even better, an inspired government is also of great importance. 'Entrepreneurs don't need to be inspired, they are already doing well,' said mayor of Zaanstad Jan Hamming. 'But how can we, as a government, be inspired by entrepreneurs? That is why I am enthusiastic about the Expo, because ministries are entering into discussions with entrepreneurs to give each other a boost.

You Innovate Together

It was concluded in several sessions: you cannot innovate alone. It is important to work together with all parties in the chain from the start. 'The emphasis is on together. As a government, we must ensure that we make things possible and that we set goals together, said Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen.

But Individuals Make the Difference

At the same time, we must make sure that we don't keep looking and pointing too much at each other if we really want something to change, says Circularities founder Klaske Kruk. 'We do say: 'We have to work together, but many people don't know yet what they can do. The transition to a circular economy is about individual people who can make a difference. Only when management, buyers, designers, and marketers in an organization understand why it is important in their field to become circular and what they can do, then things will run smoothly.' The transition to a more sustainable Netherlands is therefore not only about cooperation, but also about individual people and individual leadership.

Shift your Focus and Change

In her story, the world economist Mariana Mazzucato focuses on change in addition to cooperation. 'We have to build new public and private partnerships. But if we want this to happen, governments and businesses need to change. To do that, we need to shift our focus: focus on choosing the willing rather than winners, focus on co-creating markets rather than repairing them, and welcome uncertainties rather than avoid risks.' There is a need for change, for example when it comes to the circular economy, Stientje van Veldhoven, State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management, also emphasizes: 'People all over the world no longer accept the plastic soup. We have to work towards a circular economy. Not tomorrow, but today.'

Be Brave

Perhaps the most important lesson of the Innovation Expo 2021: innovation takes courage. Harald Tepper, senior director sustainable development at Philips, stated: 'At the start of the innovation process, there is the courage not to just design the next product.' It takes bravery to ask questions like: How can I reduce my footprint? What is the impact of my digital transformation on the climate target? And how do I create as much value as possible with as few resources as possible? Roald Lapperre, Director-General of Environment and International at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management: 'Let that courage prevail in all links of the chain! Then we will achieve results faster than if everyone just looks to the government to be brave.'

Future Phases

Check out an overview of each competition phase below - complete rules for each phase will be released as the competition progresses.


Let’s Get Started.

To apply or join the program, please submit an application.